We seem to have a gnat or buffalo gnat or blackfy or some such problem in our garden. Whenever my wife goes out there, she is eaten alive and comes back in with huge welts. They don’t seem to bother me, and if they do, it is minimal, and the welts are no worse than a mosquito bite. The problem is, we have a large garden and work in it regularly. Garden is around around 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and has a variety of vegetables along with honey bees that are around periodically pollinating for us. Have read your article on line and looked up the different products you have. First of all, am I to understand that the 6% pyrethrin, the super concentrate permethrin, and the NYLAR are all safe to use on vegetables? We are not sure where the infestation comes from, but we are guessing it is from our strawberry bed. It is heavily mulched with straw year round. Don’t have any other idea of where around us we might be getting infested. If the answer to my first question is that they are all okay to use, second question, is…how do we keep from killing all the bees or other insects that are required to pollinate some of the plants?
Any ideas or help you could give me would be appreciated and suggestions on which products you have that would work in our situation. Thanks.
First, the good news. Whichever of the treatments I’m about to recommend you decide to do, it should handle whatever you have out there biting. In our experience, we have found gnats, mosquitoes, biting flies, thrips, no see ums, straw itch mites and midges commonly attack people and these are not all that can. My point is it won’t really matter what you have; if you follow one of the following treatment plans, you should be able to go out and work in the garden without being eaten alive.
Second, the way you treat should be with a FOGGER. I just don’t see any way around it. Once you get into areas which are larger than 2500 sq/ft, fogging is always the most economical and efficient way to treat. Based on the information listed above, I’m pretty sure this will be the way you must treat if you wish to obtain control.
Lastly, I don’t know the surrounding areas and though you don’t mention it, I’m guessing there is something happening around the garden which could factor into the treatment decision. If there is 1/4 to 1/2 acre surrounding the garden which is contributing to the problem, it would make sense to treat such an area. This means that the use of Permethrin and Nylar there would be wise regardless of what you choose to use in the garden. You could use the SUPER CONCENTRATED PERMETHRIN, NYLAR and 6% PYRETHRIN for these areas which would be the “strongest” option. I have found I only need to treat once a month when using this combination and I live along the shore of the Chattahoochee River so there are plenty of bugs around. But this solution isn’t labeled for use on the vegetables so it can’t be used in the area of your prime concern.
For the garden, I would recommend our VEGETABLES PLUS PERMETHRIN alone. This is labeled for use in the garden and should provide 1-2 weeks of control. At first, I’d treat once a week for 3-4 weeks to insure I’ve broken the cycle of whatever is breeding. There after I’d try to stretch treatments to once every 2 weeks and then adjust to more or less frequent as needed. Alternatively, you could go completely organic in the garden and fog with some INSECTICIDAL SOAP. This product has no residual and will have to be applied over and over but it will provide a good contact kill when applied.
In summary, I hope I have listed some options that you’ll consider. If you still have questions, give us a call Tuesday on our toll free at 1.800.877.7290 and ask for Chad. They know this pest real well. The good news is I’m certain any of the three can resolve your problem; the key for you will be to stay the course and to follow a schedule so the pest involved isn’t able to keep reproducing. Break their cycle and you’ll eliminate them altogether. Good Luck!